Category Archives: Book Reviews

Lunaception: Putting the Moon Back Into Your Cycle

When I first heard the term ‘moon’ used as a synonym for ‘menstrual cycle,’ I was living at a commune and spent my days roaming the wilderness, listening to birds and watching wildlife.  I didn’t question or put much thought into what it really meant to link a woman’s menstrual cycle with the moon and the lunar cycle, I just kind of accepted the term.

Now, years later, I realize that I was taking for granted the closeness I had to nature and the earth in that lifestyle.  So many urban and suburban women live bustling lives filled with schedules and walls, blocking out much of their relationship to nature, and potentially affecting their bodies in unintended ways.

The concept of ‘lunaception’ is a strategy to bring women and their menstrual cycles back into communion with the earth, by allowing the moon’s cycle to regulate one’s own menstrual cycle, as many people believe has been the norm throughout history.

The link between the moon and menstruation isn’t in any way proven, but it’s very commonly and historically believed to be a strong and important relationship.  The idea is that in the past, our lives were lived more outdoors, and we were exposed to moonlight more regularly than we are today.  By blocking out the moon’s light at night, women have lost their connection to it, and have lost the regularity that it provided.

In the 1975 book Lunaception by Louise Lacey, the author suggests that before our lives became dominated by the invention of electricity, women’s menstruation was directly related to the lunar phases.  She posits that the onset of a period usually coincided with the new moon, and the fertile days coincided with the full moon.  She also suggests this caused most women’s periods to occur generally at the same time as one another.

Ideally, the way to correct this detour from nature would be to Continue reading

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Book Review: Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin

The book Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin serves as an inspirational read for those called to birth work, a basic handbook for the beginning midwife, and an intimate glimpse into the birthing culture of the 1970’s.  The inclusion of innumerable first-hand birth stories, written by the childbearing women themselves, lends the text an authenticity that is genuine and unquestionable.  It is fantastically written, emphasizing language outside of the clinical jargon normally used to describe childbirth, and bringing an elusive topic back into the realm of the accessible.  The author was courageous in publishing a text that was such a dramatic departure from the established norm in the childbirth professions of the time.

The book is basically divided into two sections, the first of which contains seemingly endless pages of first-hand accounts of childbirth.  These pages of honesty and colorful experience are Continue reading

Book Review: “Placenta: The Gift of Life” by Cornelia Enning

The book “Placenta: The Gift of Life” by Cornelia Enning, explores the cultural context of placenta medicine and gives 15 recipes for use of placenta in homeopathic remedies. The text was informative and engaging, but seemed to lack in organizational structure and thoroughness. Despite any technical problems with the text, though, Enning has done an immeasurable service to women’s healthcare by preserving these recipes and re-igniting the public dialogue about placentophagy. As this book is one of the only–if not the only–readily available published texts on the topic of placentophagy, it holds the quality of being almost a novelty in and of itself.

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